Simone De La Rue uses a combination of dance cardio and gentle abdominal work to get new moms back into shape
Credit: David X Prutting/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Simone De La Rue is the trainer behind Chrissy Teigen‘s incredible body-after-baby bounce back, and she’s sharing the best ways for any new moms to get back in shape postpartum when they are ready.

The first step is making sure it is safe for moms to get back in the gym.

“When any of my clients have a baby, we make sure they wait six to eight weeks and they get doctor’s clearance to come back to work out,” De La Rue told PEOPLE while celebrating Under Armour‘s debut of the UA Crossback Bra in West Hollywood on Tuesday.

“Some people come back faster than others depending on how quickly they’ve healed, whether it’s a C-section or a natural birth, but I always check in with everyone personally to see their progress and see what their energy levels are,” she continues.

De La Rue recommends slowly easing back into a workout routine.

“I always say that we have to do it in a realistic manner – it did take nine months to put the weight on, so we want to make sure that we’re doing it in a healthy way – four to six months to take the weight off again,” she says. “A lot of mothers are exhausted because they haven’t slept as well, so three times a week is a safe time, for an hour a day.”

The Under Armour ambassador says cardio, such as her dance cardio-focused Body By Simone classes, are the key to dropping pregnancy pounds.

“Cardio is where you’re going to lose the weight,” she explains. “You’re getting your heart rate into a calorie-burning state.”

Losing the extra weight that accumulates around the stomach area during pregnancy is “actually really difficult,” says De La Rue. ” You have to slowly wait for that ab wall to heal, and that takes time.”

Once the ab wall has healed, De La Rue begins with “gentle abdominal work.”

“We start off with plank position, pulling the belly up towards the navel, up towards the spine, and doing standing abdominal work, seeing if you can find your center of gravity,” she says. “Doing anything strenuous like crunches after having a baby is not safe.”

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In addition to traditional exercises in a gym, De La Rue encourages new moms to get creative with ways to incorporate their newborn into their workouts.

“They can push the pram or they can walk with the pram, or if they want to hold them, they can do shoulder lifts with the baby,” she says.

Most importantly, De La Rue encourages new mothers to be patient with themselves and their bodies.

“Honestly it takes time,” she says. “Obviously your main priority is focusing on your child, and I think that’s really important. Not all of us have chefs and personal trainers, so you have to set realistic goals and take your time and love yourself. Love your body and love your baby!”